Other than Linda Atkins, where are the local progressives?

Do the math………..Eureka’s doesn’t add up

guest post by Richard Salzman

The Palco Marsh has been cleared of the roughly 150 people camping there. While 40 new beds were made available by private individuals in the converted shipping containers, those are only for 90 days at a time. That means that up to 110 people are now out looking for new place to sleep. Look for some of them to end up in an alley, gulch or doorway near you.

tiny house

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA-humco. org) is the only nongovernmental organization offering an ongoing solution by way of a sanctuary camp and eventual transition to a Tiny House Village. I urge you to join me in supporting AHHA and encouraging the Eureka City Council and the Board of Supervisors to work with them in a productive manner.

tiny house village

“Everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live.”

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives
“Safe Warm and Dry First!”

AHHA-HumCo Vision Statement
“Everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live.”

AHHA-HumCo Mission Statement
“AHHA provides information, education, advocacy and policy development for affordable housing with the homeless in Humboldt County.
AHHA facilitates implementation of models and assists in operations with community groups.”

AHHA Guiding Principles
– Everyone has the right to Safe, Legal Shelter with Dignity and Respect.
– Being Safe, Warm and Dry First! is a required condition, to achieve a healthy, productive life.
– The whole community benefits when everyone feels safe and respected.
– A healthy community provides opportunities for those less fortunate and shares its resources.
– The lack of affordable housing is the main cause of homelessness.
– The definition of affordable housing needs to change to reflect the needs of the houseless and unsheltered. Alternative affordable housing options give houseless people choices and create less impact on Humboldt County.
– County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) could be more effectively distributed by implementing a variety of housing options proven to be successful in other areas.
– Participants in these alternative options would be more self-sufficient.
– AHHA will continue to declare a Shelter Crisis using CA Code 7.8 Section 8698-8698.2 “Declaration of a shelter crisis” which means a significant number of persons are without shelter, resulting in a threat to their health and safety.[CA Govt Code 8698 (d)]

AHHA Goals include developing a variety of affordable homeless housing alternatives
– Resident and Non-profit Co-Managed Micro Housing Villages with community kitchens, gardens, rest-rooms/showers and micro-businesses.
– Campgrounds throughout the county, located near to services.
– Camp sanctuaries for cars, in tents, in RVs, open tent camping, and bike and ride.
– Church camping in tents, cars, RVs.
– Zoning variances to allow residential camping and micro housing on residential, city and county properties. Foreclosures and land trust opportunities.
– Rest Areas; places for legal, safe sleep, open 24/7.
– Locations in County and City parks, schools, vacant buildings, and private property.
– Hygiene Stations: showers, restroom, water, waste disposal and lockers.
– Youth Camps, Farm-Worker Housing and Nomadic Campgrounds.
– Active engagement of our community and organizations to build strong, collaborative Working Groups, successful, and community coalitions that create housing/shelter alternatives for homeless and maximize affordable housing options.

The AHHA General Assembly meets First Saturday of the month

11:30 am social gathering; Noon to 2:00 pm meeting

Jefferson Community Center at 1000 B Street in Eureka

HOW we work together is as important as WHAT we create in working together. We are striving to be and to develop collaborative individuals and communities as we build affordable homeless housing alternatives. All are welcome to join us.
AHHA is made up of a Board of Directors, Working Groups/Committees who work with each other and the larger Humboldt community on selecting sites, outreach, fundraising, media and reaching our goals, whether longer term or more short term, like creating sanctuary camps and micro housing villages.


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13 thoughts on “Other than Linda Atkins, where are the local progressives?

  1. The answer is….crickets. Even Linda Atkins seems to be about as lukewarm as a “progressive” can get.

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  2. And everyone has a right to work and pay their own way…..

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  3. The problem is, progressives are running out of other peoples money to spend.

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  4. Thanks to local government/corporate collusion the development industry is already anticipating the next housing casino, never running out of other people’s money in the 1980’s casino subsidies and bailouts or the 2008 casino subsidies and bailouts.

    Their political lap dogs are all in place to make sure no local regulation will interfere with the next casino windfall or chronic shortages in affordable infill housing.

    If we had a media source regularly reporting on unpleasant public realities, for example, “why” there’s a homeless epidemic instead of featuring single car accidents, meth arrests, and abandoned puppy litters, more people might start voting.

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  5. I have to admit, I was happy to see Arroyo and Bergel elected; in fact, I still feel that they were the right choice for Eureka. I didn’t expect the two to control the council, but I thought, with Atkins aboard, Arroyo and Bergel could reign in, at minimum, Brady. In short, it hasn’t happened. I still have faith that Arroyo and Bergel will eventually make some progressive impacts, but time is running out.

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  6. If you were Linda Atkins you would be keeping a low profile too. She gets slammed at every turn for trying to offer solutions for Eureka. She has a thankless job in a conservative community. Even if people agreed with her privately, they would never utter a word in public. Container housing is a good idea and has been used in many communities, however they didn’t put them right in the middle of a business district, a struggling one I might add, as Eureka is. I guess local government isn’t interested in sales tax dollars. The blind leading the blind.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Not true.

    Linda has had a full-house of supporters on many occasions.

    Even our radical right wingers, (they’re not “conservatives” by any stretch), know that their legacy of control finally sipped with this current city council majority that they DID NOT support. They know that they can loose control indefinitely, leading to a more aggressive liberal council, all it takes in a city with 30% turnout rates is a small catalyst to motivate a few hundred new voters.

    The business community might have wanted the homeless to remain unseen, but the biggest threat to attracting new residents and capital investment into Eureka, is a bay surrounded in brownfields and some of the highest statistics in this state for every deplorable human health condition, including crime.But, the last thing Eureka’s historic “leadership” would do is advocate for the obvious solution because it offends their owners by subjecting Eureka’s border communities to incorporation, stricter development regulations and more fees for the huge infrastructure, affordable housing, and capital improvement deficits it faces.

    Homeless populations are expanding rapidly in most U.S. cities and cannot be blamed after decades of discredited “trickle-down” economic right-wing cronyism that has impoverished local families/consumers. As long as the players are allowed to keep getting their windfall and fees from shuffling families into and out of big, high-profit homes, the sycophants representing the financial interests of a few “landed gentry” could care less about rigging shortages in affordable housing, stable apartments for the homeless, safe streets, or fully funded police walking a beat, programs for unemployed at-risk youth, or the stench of sewage that has greeted newcomers to Eureka for over a generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anon…. Well said. Lots of good meat to chew on. But I will repeat the idea that placing homeless living units in the middle of a business district is a bad economic idea. It discourages business which lessens sales tax dollars in the city’s coffers. It has little to do with businesses whos owners want to help people who are trying to keep there heads above water. When I was in business downtown I gave to lots of non-profits. I also helped people WORK out of their situations. Many of my owner friends did the same. Common sense solutions not ill thought out ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have you ever visited SF’s Tenderloin?

    It is vastly more crowded with the destitute, homeless, addicts, prostitutes and mentally ill than Eureka, yet, teeming with unique businesses and restaurants offering quality products at fair prices attracting customers from throughout the city regardless of “appearances”. Competitive leases in the Tenderloin are exactly what The Slanted Door restaurant needed to get its start to become one of SF’s most famous. They are currently located in the high-rent Embarcadero.

    But in Eureka, despite “bad economic times”, a small number of old Eureka families own most commercial properties fixing “triple-net” leases that remain grossly inflated at $1.25 per square foot, inflicting measurable and concrete harm to local start-ups…compared to the irrational, fear-based blame on the homeless and homeless services.

    Case-in-point: a few years ago, the owner of Eureka’s “Avalon” and Arcata’s “Bijou” restaurants stood with other curmudgeons at Robin Arkley Jr’s “Town Hall Meeting Against Social Services”, to loudly blame the homeless for their business failures…but failing to explain how so many other nearby restaurants, (with superior quality and lower prices), were unaffected, and with new one’s opening!

    Calling-out greedy building owners in a corrupt city for contributing to common business failures can get you red-lined in finding a new location outside their influence, especially in a small town where business/government collusion and control have allowed well-connected elites to keep their buildings in great-granddaddy’s name, paying property taxes based on 1930’s valuations…because Eureka is “business friendly”. HA.

    It’s much easier to blame all those unattractive people lying about…victimized by similar greed and corruption on a nationwide scale.

    There are zero statistics available on Eureka’s temporary boxcar internment site, although, common sense would lead a reasonable person to wonder if the provision of shelter might reduce homeless PTSD and the bad-behavior that accompanies desperation.

    Over the years, the growing number of “walking-wounded” I have seen in Eureka, when shopping at the Co-Op, ENF, Costco, Sport and Cycle, and many others…have never once deterred me from going back. On the other hand, I try to keep alert at the Bayshore Mall and Winco which hold the lion’s share of police calls, including Eureka’s shabby hotels.

    Hard times demand harder work, higher quality, and competitive prices to succeed and to draw families’ throughout the county to dine and shop in Eureka, made difficult in a city controlled by a commercial property cabal enjoying a rigged economy that allows them to receive huge tax write-offs on their empty storefront for years based on their losses after you’ve been evicted….the same rigged economy that allowes the development industry to profit from rotating families in and out of homes they couldn’t afford.

    This is a city, and county that thinks nothing about the injuries caused to countless residents and businesses in a multitude of ways by primarily serving the interests of landowners and unbridled development, for which the homeless provide a marvelous distraction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What you’ve described is a feudal system where wealth is concentrated in land ownership. As you noted, the system is maintained by low carrying costs(taxes) on hereditary land and high costs of land transfer. So there’s no incentive for landowners sell land to invest elsewhere or to let tenants gain wealth by creating new products and services. The wealth created from use of land is constrained to flow mostly to the landowner, not the land user(tenant/serf). As a result, not much innovation happens and most people are impoverished. Its the basic condition that defined the European “Dark Ages”, which lasted for hundreds of years.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Of course, for millions of Americans, the “Dark Ages” never actually ended. Last weekend Eureka organized a barbecue near the site of the homeless resident evictions, similar events were held following the routing of resident tribes and Chinese Immigrants.

    If local media were ever to report a local “Human Suffering Index” with the same regularity of the “Dow Jones”, (the numbers are readily available and include a broad spectrum of residents), many questions would be generated.

    How many local families were foreclosed during the 2008 collapse? A single journalist couldn’t locate one family to interview? How many were scooped-up for rentals? How many owner-occupied neighborhoods have become predominantly rentals in the last 15 years? What is Humboldt County’s home-affordability rate each year?

    In a world of deceit, the truth is revolutionary.

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  11. A barbecue at the evicted homeless site, you have to be kidding. What a slap in the face to the under class and all the people that wish to help them to better their lives. EUREKA can always be counted on to come up with some new slight to some portion of the local population. Always amazing to watch.

    Liked by 2 people

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